Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

First Advisor

Markotić, Nicole


death, defamiliarization, grief, mourning, performative, ritual




"Schrödinger’s Daughter,” explores the societal norms which govern grief and mourning. The project, which is comprised of a series of interconnected short stories and found text prose poems, follows a family dealing with the loss of their patriarch. The narrative is told through the perspective of the three remaining immediate family members: Trista, the deceased’s daughter, acts as primary narrator, while Brigitte, the wife, and Ulisse, the son, act as secondary narrators. Each story weaves together to create a multilayered representation of the public and private grieving process, often reinterpreting events through multiple perspectives, illustrating the varied nature of grief. Through these speculative pieces, I develop a critique of performative cultural practices, such as funerals and wakes, which regulate the way individuals mourn on a public level and how these public practices weave into the private expressions of grief. The accompanying critical essay, “Act ‘Sad’ the Neighbours are Watching: Writing About the Performative Societal and Linguistic Conventions which Govern Death, Grief, and Mourning in Schrödinger’s Daughter,” breaks the critique down into three main avenues: 1) exploring how grief operates as a performative action within societal systems such as the workplace, the neighbourhood, social media, and healthcare; 2) the utilization of elements of magical realism on a macro level (narrative and structure) to create defamiliarization and promote critical reception in an audience; 3) and the utilization of elements of speculative fiction on a micro level (language and metaphor) to compound defamiliarization and reinforce my critical aim.